Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Lightning Queen, by Laura Resau

For modern day Marylander Mateo, visiting his grandfather Teo in rural Oaxaco, Mexico is an entirely different world, but one to which he looks forward every year.  On his most recent stay, Grandfather Teo tells him a story from long ago about how he met a young gypsy girl names Esma ("the lightning queen").  Their friendship, challenged by distrust between two different cultures, managed to survive.

Resau has a bit of niche writing rich stories about the indigenous people of Mexico that combine a Hispanic magical realism tradition with a modern kid-friendly sensibility.  The results are wonderful novels where the story itself is less important than the characters.  And thus a story synopsis cannot do justice to the immersive fun of the book which sends us to another world full of colorful characters and meaningful human relationships.  This book does it all one better, bringing two very unique cultures together:  the Mexteco people (of whom Resau has written before) and the less-known world of the Mexican Romani.  Truth be told, I hadn't even realized that the Romani had reached the Americas and loved the idea of bringing them to light.  While I might well have enjoyed even more about the gypsy caravan and its people, what is present is fascinating and interesting.

[Disclaimer:  I received a copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review.  After finishing with the book, I will be donating it to my local public library.  The book is scheduled for release on October 27th.]

No comments: